-1-Brother's Keeper Chapter 7
-Don't need to tell you it's been a while since I last updated this story. Though admittedly, of all my fics that haven't been updated in a while, this one isn't so bad.
-I've also noticed that two fics seem to be inspired by this one. One I'm pretty sure is even though he didn't mention it directly (since he wanted to keep the ending as a surprise). The other has a concept and details that seemed to be a bit more than coincidental to this fic. If this is true, a part of me is flattered about it. The other part? Of all the fics that inspire other people to have the same concept, it's this dark fic. A little disturbed.
-Also, while I still say this is one of my 'better' written fics, rereading the previous chapters, I noticed many many mistakes, grammatical or structural, that makes me realize where I've been, and how much I still have to go before I even consider becoming 'serious.' Maybe one day I'll go back and rewrite the previous chapters. But, for now, I'll focus on updating.
-Didn't want the Author Notes to get too long. So on with the story~
Yokohama Police Station
"I've seen this man before."
"You have," Motoko questioned as she rushed up to Haruka and held her arms. "Where? We need to find him right away!"
"Unfortunately," Haruka said, seemingly unfazed by Motoko's action. "I can't tell you much about him. Since the last time I saw him, he was one of mother's driver."
Motoko's eyes widened. "Then, then that means…"
"Supposing Kanako Urashima inherited most of mother's wealth," Haruka took a puff from her cigarette before continuing. "It's possible Kanako retained his services."
Kitsune's gasped, shocked by this revelation. "So, so it's true? I, I knew she had a few screws loose but I never thought she would go this far."
Ishikawa gritted his teeth. "Shit…"
"Something wrong Ishikawa-san," Haruka questioned as she eyed Ishikawa. Though her near aloof look did change.
"It's, it's nothing for any of you to get involved in," Ishikawa said.
"Well like it or not, we are," Haruka said. She removed the cigarette from her mouth and let out a lot long whiff of smoke. She crushed the cigarette on a nearby desk. "In the spirit of cooperation, you mind telling us what's on your mind?"
Ishikawa gritted his teeth in annoyance. "Fine. It's against my better judgment, but I'll tell you what I think is going on." Ishikawa crossed his arms as his brow twitched. "But I won't tell you now. Instead, it would be better if you gather up your little group at the Hinata Sou."
Kitsune raised an eyebrow at Ishikawa's statement. "Why would you do that?"
"If I'm going to bother telling you this confidential information, in the spirit of cooperation," Ishikawa said, mocking the last part of the sentence. "I might as well tell it to everyone in your little group."
"But why the Hinata Sou," Motoko questioned. "I, I understand why you would want to divulge this, information at once, but why not here?"
Ishikawa dropped his head. It took him a while before he answered Motoko. "Because the Hinata Sou is where everything began. And where I had hoped everything ended."
Single Family Home on the outskirts of Hinata
Su and Ema stood in front of an inconspicuous modern looking home. A short drive or streetcar ride away from historical Hinata existed a neighborhood full of modern homes built up during the economic boom of the eighties. The area provided an escape for people that worked in Tokyo, but had enough of apartment life. This particular gabled cookie cutter home did not stand out compared to its neighbors. It was two stories, had a small gate that led to a very small courtyard and to the front door, and a small driveway on the side which was currently occupied by a compact car.
The home was bathed in darkness, with only a nearby streetlight giving the area some source of light.
Su rang the door bell. A buzzing sound could be heard through the door.
"Ummm… Kaolla-san," the bespectacled woman hesitantly said. Her knees were shaking uncontrollably. "I don't think they are home."
Su smiled. "Silly Ema-san! If that was true, why is the car parked in the driveway?"
"But, but… even if they were," Ema said freaked out, "they're probably asleep! It's really rude waking them up and…"
Su turned the handle. The door creaked open.
"Wha… wha… what?" Ema jumped back.
Su peered into the home. "Hello?"
Ema grabbed onto Su's left arm and whispered into Su's ear. "What are you doing? You can't just enter a stranger's house!"
Su made a hushing motion to Ema. "I'm just going to look around! That's all."
Su stepped into the house. Before continuing, she removed her shoes and stepped up into the hallway.
Ema reluctantly followed, removing her shoes and chased after Su on her tiptoes hoping not to make too much of a sound. Her eyes were still adjusting to the darkness of the house. "Kaolla-san, this is wrong! Eep!" A creak was heard when Ema stepped on a loose board.
"Don't worry," Su winked at Ema. "Besides, I don't think the residents here would mind."
"But, but, but…" Ema protested as she tripped over a box in the hallway. "Eep!"
Su turned down a short hallway that led to the living room. "After all, the residents here are local drug dealers."
"WHA…" Ema quickly covered her mouth. She cast her eyes from side to side, hoping if the residents were asleep, they did not wake and find them. "That makes it even worse," she said in a hushed tone. "We need to get out of here!"
"Not after I confirm something," Su said in a playful tone.
"Are you kidding me," Ema whispered in a freak out tone. Her shaking continued. "We're talking about drug dealers here! Bad guys! They might have swords, knives, maybe even guns! It's dangerous!"
Su's smile did not dissipate. "I don't think we have to worry about that."
"But but…" Ema continued to shake. It also reminded herself that she did not take a leak before this excursion. "This is something we have to leave up to the cops! They have weapons and stuff! They could protect us if we run into them! They…"
"Ema-san, you don't smell that?"
"What," Ema momentarily calmed down as Su's unusual question sank in. "What does that have to do with anything? And…" Ema sniffed. An overwhelming iron, and ammonia smell reached her nose. As well as slight putrid stench. "What… is that?"
Ema waved her hand at the offending insect.
"Remember those two gang bangers that took Naru and Keitaro," Su said as she reached for the light switch.,"they worked under a man and a woman that lived in this house."
"How did you find out," Ema said. She slapped a fly away that was buzzing near her head. The living room became illuminated causing Ema to momentarily cover her eyes. "Hey! You shouldn't do…" As her eyes readjusted to the light, Ema's eyes widened by the image she saw in front of her.
"See? I told you we had nothing to worry about," Su's said smiling. Though that smile was constrained.
In the living room, a woman lay slumped on a nearby wall. Blood and brain matter were splattered on the wall above her. A single bullet hole was on her forehead can be seen. Her skirt was noticeably stained as her bladder was emptied upon death. Maggots covered the wounds on her head.
On the couch lay a man sprawled across it. His head was slumped to the side as brain matter and bone fragments were splattered across the couch. Similarly, his pants was also stained, and maggots can be seen crawling over his face.
"Given the number of maggots on the body, looks like they've been dead for a while," Su said as she surveyed the room. "No signs of the bodies being moved, shell casings still on the floor, the bullets are probably even imbedded in the wall and floor… I think this death was supposed to set an example."
"De… de… dea…" Ema felt her stomach churn. She covered her mouth as she no longer could hold it in. She turned to the side and vomited her day's meal.
"This was the last known residence of Kanako Urashima," Su's face hardened.
Ema spit out a bit of bile as her stomach threatened to further empty its contents. "That, that means that she was the one that, took, Sen… pai?"
Su nodded. "That's not the only thing I discovered. Kanako didn't simply choose this residence on a whim. It's the name on the deed to this house that disturbed me."
"Why," Ema said as mouth puffed out as the last remained contents of her stomach came up.
"This house didn't belong to this couple," Su said. Her eyes narrowed before she continued. "The name on the deed to this house was Hina Urashima."
-The Next Morning…
Unknown Location - Keitaro's Room
"Hmm. Hmph. What happened last night," Keitaro groggily said as he slowly opened his eyes. A slight blush appeared on his face as he felt some wetness on his lower half. "Naru, that feels good. Yes, mo…" Keitaro's eyes shot open. "Na… ru?" He peered down his bed. Without his glasses, all he could see was a blurry mass in front of him. He reached to the end table for his glasses and put them on.
A mass of blond hair was bobbing up and down on his stiffened exposed member. Her soft hand gripping it. Her tongue running down its length. Through the blond hair, her lust filled eyes met Keitaro's. She paused her motion. A wry smile appeared as she continued to pleasure him.
Unknown Location - Outside Keitaro's Room
"AIEEEEEEEEEEE!" The loud screamed echoed down the hallway.
Unknown Location - Keitaro's Room
"Ma… Ma… Ma… Mast… Keitaro-san," Agafia shakily said as tears streamed down her face. "Did I do something wrong?"
Keitaro jumped out of bed while desperately holding onto the blanket in order to cover his exposed lower half. He scooted back to the opposite side of the wall. Though the blanket caught on the bed post and so only a small portion remained to help Keitaro cover up. "What, what, what, were you doing?"
"I, was just helping you wake up," Agafia said. "I didn't mean to offend you."
"That, that, that's not how you wake someone up," Keitaro frantically said.
The door flung open.
"Oniichan! Something wrong," Kanako asked in a cheery voice.
"Eep! Kanako don't come in," Keitaro frantically waved at her.
"Silly oniichan, I've seen it plenty of times!" Kanako giggled.
"We were young kids," Keitaro said with stream of tears. "It's different now."
Kanako ignored Keitaro's last statement and turned to Agafia. "So Agafia-san, what happened here?"
"Mistress, I was just giving Master Keitaro a pleasant wake up call," Agafia bowed her head. "I apparently offended Master Keitaro."
"Oniichan," Kanako turned to Keitaro. "If Agafia-san failed in her duties, I can have her replaced."
"That's not it!" Keitaro waved at Kanako fearing that his reaction might have meant Agafia being fired. "It's just that, that… I'm a married man! I'm not supposed to… you know, do that with anyone but Naru!"
"But oniichan, she's only doing what a maid is supposed to do," Kanako grinned. "And weren't you enjoying it oniichan?"
"I don't… I don't think that's what maids are supposed to do," Keitaro protested. He knew maids in eroges did this kind of thing. But that was fantasy meant to gratify a perverted male's fetish. The fact that it was also one of Keitaro's fetishes not withstanding. "And that's not the point. I…" He stood up still holding the blanket to his groin. "I love Naru and only Naru! I won't be tempted by someone else!"
"Now oniichan. If you don't tell her, I won't," Kanako said. "Besides, I'm sure Narusegawa won't mind at all."
"That's… that's a lie," Keitaro said. "If Naru found out, she'd, she'd kill me! Especially when she sees how pretty, I mean…"
"Now now oniichan," Kanako took a few steps forward towards Keitaro. "If Narusegawa really loved and trust you, you'd have nothing to worry right? It's all just a big misunderstanding."
"Misunderstanding, yeah. That's, all this is," Keitaro said with trepidation.
"I'm sorry Keitaro-san," Agafia bowed. "I, I won't do it again unless you ordered."
"I don't think I'll ever order you to do, I mean I'll never order you to do something you don't want to do, that. But, thank you," Keitaro scratched the back of his head. Not realizing it was the one holding the blanket. Until he felt a bit of a breeze on his lower area. "Eep!" He grabbed the blanket to recover his now limp penis.
"Oh? Who said she didn't enjoy it?" Kanako turned to Agafia. "Did you not enjoy it?"
"I, no. I mean, Master Kanako, I enjoyed it greatly," Agafia bowed her head.
Keitaro began to sweat. "It's not that." His penis was threatening to harden. "No! I'm married. See?" Keitaro quickly looked at his ring finger. "I'm loyal only to…" Keitaro's eyes widened. "My… my ring. Where's my ring?" Fear gripped Keitaro's heart. Keitaro patted down his shirt, the nearby end table, and looked under the blanket. Apparently ignoring the fact that by doing so, his member was once again exposed.
"Oniichan," Kanako said as she held up a small wedding ring. "You're looking for this? It seems you misplaced it when you were washing your hands last night."
Keitaro recognized it immediately. "My wedding ring!" A wave of relief washed over him.
"Catch." Kanako threw the ring towards Keitaro.
Keitaro reached for the ring, but it sailed past him. He tripped on the blanket and crashed into the end table. He fumbled some more as he finally got his target. Not realizing he was pointing his ass towards Agafia and Kanako. "My wedding ring." He placed the ring back on his ring finger as tears of joy streamed down his face. "I don't know what I would do if I lost it."
"You're so clumsy oniichan," Kanako grinned. "I know how important that ring is to you."
*Knock* *Knock* *Knock*
Shinobu ran up and opened the entrance door. She bowed to the visitors. "We, we, welcome to the Hinata Sou."
Ishikawa wheezed and gasped. His face dripping with sweat. "I'm getting too old for this. Can't you guys add like, an escalator or something?"
"That would take away the historical charm of the place," Tomoko said. His arms full of documents, and a big blue print sized paper. "Besides, it's very good exercise."
"Ugh," Ishikawa heaved. "Say that again when you're my age."
"P, p, please have a seat," Shinobu gestured to the nearby couch in the reception area.
Ishikawa surveyed the room. "So, everyone is here I assume?"
Haruka leaned back on a nearby hallway while smoking a cigarette. Kitsune, Mutsumi and Ema sat on one side of the couch. Across from them on the second couch sat Motoko and Su. A third couch in the middle facing one of the hallways remained empty.
"Everyone that matters," Haruka said. "We'd all like to hear what you have to say."
"Hmph," Ishikawa sat down on the empty couch. "Ah. My legs."
"Um, I'll get some tea," Shinobu said as she trotted off to the kitchen.
"Hmph." Haruka glanced at Tomoko. "While we wait for Shinobu to come back, want drop all that stuff you have?"
"Well, I don't want to just dump it on the table," Tomoko bashfully said. "I mean, it would be rude for the girl to not to have a place to, put the tray on."
Ishikawa sighed. "At least sit down."
"Yes sir," Tomoko said. He made his way to the couch. A few of the items in his arms slipped and few to the floor. He carefully knelt down picked each item up as he tried to cover his embarrassment.
A few minutes later, Shinobu returned with tea in hand. She handed it to the police officers and placed the tray on the table.
Ishikawa took a sip from the tea. "Hmm. This is really good young lady." Ishikawa smiled at Shinobu.
"Th, tha, thank you mister," Shinobu blushed.
Ishikawa placed the tea down on the table and sat back. "Hmph. Now that everyone is here…" He reached over and took one of the documents that Tomoko held. "How much do any of you know about the Urashima family?"
"Eh," Motoko's widened by the unusual question. "What do we know?"
"The family. What does it do, what is it known for," Ishikawa clarified.
"Ummm…" Kitsune blinked as she thought back about everything she knew. "Well, I know the Hinata Sou has been in their family for generations. Grandma Hina owned the Hinata Sou before passing it down to Keitaro. And Keitaro's parents owned a bakery." Kitsune glimpsed back to where Haruka was. "And Haruka owned the café at the base of the stairs before her marriage."
Haruka growled and gritted her teeth.
"…something I'll not make light of in the near future," Kitsune sheepishly said.
"And senpai is an archeologist," Shinobu added.
"And senpai, he's now a professor at Todai," Ema said, squirming in her seat. She looked anxiously at Su.
"Ara," Mutsumi smiled. "That's, about it. Well also that Kei-kun is clumsy and…"
Kitsune covered up Mutsumi's mouth. "I don't think he needs to know that. Heheh."
"That's about as much as I know too," Motoko said. "I don't see what this has to do with Kanako."
"Yeah," Kitsune's face darkened. "We didn't know much about her when she came but, but this?"
"Ara, so it was Kanako-san that took them," Mutsumi asked.
"Hmph. We don't know that. But it's beginning to point that way," Ishikawa crossed his arms. "And it looks like Hina-san did a much better job than I thought."
"Better job? Better job doing what," Motoko asked.
"You mean a better job at hiding her assets," Su spoke up. "Like the house near the border of Hinata with the dead drug dealers?"
"Yes, wait," Ishikawa's eyes widened. "You were the one that called it in?"
"Yup," Su nodded.
"That, that investigation you were doing," Ishikawa blinked aghast. "You actually went to a known criminal's home unprotected?"
"Yup," Su nodded again. "Just me and Ema-san!"
"Ah," Ema waved back at her. "I, I didn't want to but you kept going!"
Shinobu placed her hands on her mouth. "Su!"
"That's really dangerous," Tomoko said as he shifted his position. Causing a few more documents to fall out of his hand. "I mean, what if they were armed and dangerous!"
"And breaking an entry is illegal," Ishikawa noted. "Even if the people inside were criminals."
"I didn't want to go in," Ema said fearfully. "I just, you see…"
"Now, now, I have diplomatic immunity," Su winked at him. "I won't tell if you won't tell right? Besides, didn't I make your job much easier by getting to them before they completely rotted away? Also I knew they were dead already before I even entered."
"Ara, that's amazing Su-chan," Mutsumi clapped her hands.
Kitsune, and Motoko was astounded by Su's revelation.
"Is, this, Su," Motoko stuttered out.
"She has really changed hasn't she," Kitsune said.
Su stuck a tongue out at them.
"Hmph," Haruka sounded aloof. "How did you figure all this out?"
"Oh, just some investigative work on the last known whereabouts of Kanako," Su stated. "Wasn't surprised it was the home of the same people that worked with the men that took Keitaro and Naru." Su's face scowled. "But why was it a home owned by Hina Urashima?"
Ishikawa blinked, before settling into the couch. "That is why I'm here." Ishikawa opened a booklet containing two criminal profiles. "You see, I and the idiot next to me are part the team specifically set up to fight organized crime in the Kanto region. Specifically Western Kanto."
The group looked in awe.
Ema gulped. "Fighting organized crime? Are you telling us…"
"Let me finish first," Ishikawa stated.
Shinobu looked at Tomoko. "But, aren't you just, you know…" Shinobu was not an expert when it came to police work. But she was sure Tomoko did not fit in.
"Yeah. About that," Tomoko scratched the back of his head. "I'm not quite a investigator. I just wind up helping Ishikawa-sama."
"He's good at brining the coffee at least, though I'm starting to reassess that too." Ishikawa said. " But back to what the Princess found. That couple you saw, was only part of the puzzle. They used to work for this man." Ishikawa pointed to one of the pictures. A pudgy guy with spiky hair.
The group leaned in to look at the picture.
"Kazuya," Motoko questioned.
"Used to be the local yakuza in that part of Hinata," Ishikawa said. "His territory used to extend to the center of Hinata. At least, until we found his body floating in the river two nights ago."
Haruka, who was still in the side hallway, peeked her head around the corner. "So a bad man is dead. What does that have to do with the Urashima family?"
"Because Kazuya was once a lieutenant of Hina Urashima."
"What?" The whole group, sans Haruka said in complete shock.
"The Urashima Family, up until the point when Hina took over, was the most powerful criminal organization in not just Hinata, but much of the western Kanto region."
Unknown Location - Keitaro's Room's Bathroom
Keitaro laid down in the massive bath and let the warm water wash away his concerns. At least, that's what he had hoped. In truth, Keitaro still could not grasp the situation he was thrown in. For all intent and purposes, he was now living the life of luxury. His bed sheets were cleaned and prepared in the morning. He never had to worry about the laundry as the maids always took his dirty clothes away and washed them. The meals, he recently found out, were prepared by a professional chef three times a day that you would normally only find at high end restaurants. Keitaro even has a personal maid who was more than happy to service him in any ways that he could think of. Even with services that he thought was better left not done.
But it all felt wrong to him.
Keitaro looked at his wedding ring on his hand. All this luxury was meaningless to him. Meaningless without the woman that made him whole. Just a few days ago, he lived in a small cluttered apartment. Dirty dishes piling up in the sink, the bathroom a little dingy due to the neglect, and the futon that on occasion, he left out for the entire day. It was not glamorous, a little hectic, and especially with the baby coming, emotionally trying at times. But Keitaro would not have had it in any other way.
His hand drifted across the smooth granite surface of the bath. In the back of his mind, something that Kanako said, or did not say, began to gnaw at him. He tried to pass it off as nothing, but it still bothered him the more he dwelled on it.
When Kanako mentioned Naru, she used her last name without a honorific.
"The Urashima family, is Yakuza," Kitsune said. Her mouth twitching by the shock. "Tell me you're joking right?"
Ishikawa eyed Kitsune wearily.
"Didn't think so." Kitsune bit her lip. "But, how…" Kitsune swiveled her head towards Haruka. "Is it true Haruka?"
Haruka shrugged. "Why are you looking at me for? I don't know anything. I don't think even my brother knows anything."
"You mean your uncle right," Ishikawa noted.
"You've been looking at our family tree now," Haruka glared at Ishikawa from around the corner.
"Gah," Ishikawa grabbed onto his chest as he felt a slight tightening on his chest after catching Haruka's glare. "No, I didn't mean to bring up the family tree or anything. It's just, something Hina-sama mentioned before her passing."
"What's going on," Motoko stared at Haruka confused.
"Well, I guess the cat is out of the bag," Haruka sucked down a drag. "Hina wasn't my mother. At least by birth. She was my grandma."
Ema, Motoko, Kitsune, and Shinobu all stared flabbergasted by the newest bombshell.
"You're Grandma Hina's granddaughter," Shinobu said. "Then that means…"
"I'm also Kietaro's cousin," Haruka said.
"Then why do you call her mother than," Motoko asked tentatively. Though Haruka seemed to be freely giving out her back story, she was not sure it was the right thing to be asking.
"If you want to know, it's because Hina adopted me as her own child after my real parents, Yoko Urashima and Ken Urashima, Hina's daughter and son in law, passed away due to an accident when I was just a child," Haruka said.
"Hmph," Ishikawa sounded.
"They did die because of accident right," Haruka glared at Ishikawa.
The residents all turned towards Ishikawa.
Ishikawa scanned the room as he felt their gaze. "Yes, the official reason is that they died in an accident."
"Official," Haruka questioned.
"Um, it's not that we're trying to hide anything," Tomoko spoke up in defense of Ishikawa. "It's just that, we've found no evidence to the contrary. I know, given the history of the Urashima family that it's easy to suspect foul play. And there is some unsolved questions about it…"
"Tokomo…" Ishikawa said wearily.
"But doesn't change the fact that it was probably just an accident," Tomoko quickly added.
"Hmph," Haruka let out a long puff of smoke. "Now that you know my relationship to Hina, I'll answer the other thing that's probably on all your minds. No, I have clue that my mother, grandmother, was the head of any criminal organization. And I doubt Keitaro or his father knew either."
"How is that possible," Kitsune asked with raised eyebrow. "If she's supposed to be the head of some huge organization, I don't think there is any way to keep that a secret to everyone! Especially to her own family!"
"Who said it was a secret to everyone," Ishikawa said. "Just ask the town elders."
"Heheh. I'm not sure they'd say anything Ishikawa-sama," Tomoko scratched the back of his head.
"Hmph, I didn't say it would be easy," Ishikawa added. "But if you're persuasive enough, I'm sure they can tell you many stories about them." He glanced at the samurai girl. "You could even ask your elders about it Aoyama-san."
"My family," Motoko said aghast. "But my family is in Kyoto. And they never mentioned anything about the Urashima's before I moved here."
"You don't think the Urashima family didn't deal with people outside the Kanto region," Ishikawa said. "You don't control half of Kanto without making friends outside of it."
"And I always wondered about the men that hanged around mother from time to time," Haruka added. "I thought they were just regular guest to the Hinata Sou. Thinking back, maybe that wasn't the case."
"Still… it's unbelievable that she'd be able to keep it a secret to all of us," Kitsune said tentatively.
"Is it really," Haruka said. "How many of you knew that she had a grandson named Keitaro before he came to the Hinata Sou? How many of you knew about Kanako? And how many of you knew I wasn't Hina's daughter by birth, but grand daughter?"
"Ara, I met Keitaro when he was young," Mutsumi answered.
"So did Naru," Haruka replied. "But I don't recall her recognizing that fact when he first came here."
Ema's eyes were wide. "I, I wasn't here before." Ema gulped.
Haruka grinned. "Well, you're excused. But what about the rest of you?"
The room was quiet as realization dawned on them.
"I guess we really didn't know much about Grandma Hina," Kitsune conceded.
Their image of kindly old, if eccentric, woman began to shift.
"Does that mean that Grandma Hina, she…" Motoko bit her lip. Unable to accept what she was beginning to suspect.
"Intimidation, drugs, gun smuggling, prostitution, murder," Tomoko asked in Motoko's stead, and then answered it himself. "Yup, you name it, she was probably involved."
"Though I wouldn't say probably," Ishikawa countered.
"Nothing that could easily stand up in court," Tomoko added.
"So Grandma Hina was the head of the Urashima criminal organization," Su said. "And the Hinata Sou is the headquarters of it all?"
"You could say that," Ishikawa said. "Before this got turned into a dorm, the regular guest were usually members of the organization. If these walls could talk, I'm sure they could tell many interesting stories."
"And probably plenty of evidence to take down some big players," Tomoko added.
Ishikawa eyed Tomoko causing him to wilt back into his seat.
"But wait," Kitsune stood up as she stared at Mutsumi. "The Otohime family also ran the Hinata Sou before it was turned into a dormitory. Does that mean that, Mutsumi and her family…"
"Ara," Mutsumi gave a questioning look. "While it would be cool, I don't recall us ever being Yakuza."
Ishikawa face palmed and shook her head. "No. The business that Hina Urashima had with the Otohimes was strictly, just that, business in nature. Legitimate business in nature. Though I'd be surprised if they didn't know who most of their regular clientele were, I can confidently say that their dealings with the Urashima family is perfectly legal."
"But there is a reason why the Otohime family were involved," Tomoko said.
"I'll get to that later," Ishikawa said.
"But that still leaves one thing doesn't make sense," Su said. "If that was true, why did she turn the Hinata Sou into an all female dormitory?"
"This, is the real reason why I'm here," Ishikawa said. "And, as Tomoko-san mentioned, the reason why the Otohime family got involved with running the Hinata Sou. Remember I said the Urashima family was the most powerful criminal organization. That all changed when Hina Urashima took over as the head."
Kitsune blinked. "Why was that?"
"Because Hina Urashima hated the organization. The very organization she was born into." Ishikawa said as he grabbed another stack of papers from Tomoko and threw the papers on the table. On the papers were mug shots of a number of people, which the residents could only assume were related to the organization. "The reason why even members of her own family had no contact with the others." Ishikawa leaned forward in his seat. "Hina Urashima wanted to set her family free, by trying to destroy the beast from within."
Unknown Location - Hallway
Kietaro walked down the ornate hallway. He took the time to inspect the hallway. The gold reliefs on the columns, the ornamental marble tile, the massive painting hanging on the wall, the beauty of the hallway still overwhelmed Keitaro. He was not an expert when it came to architecture, engineering, and art, but it does not take a genius to realize that all this cost a fortune. And he still could not fathom that it was built and owned by his grandmother.
Down the hallway, Keitaro could see a number of well dressed men talking to Kanako. While he has not been in this palatial mansion for very long, he did meet at least most of the servants that went about their daily business.
And these men did not look like servants.
Keitaro walked down the hallway towards the group. One of the man coughed as he caught sight of Keitaro.
Kanako turned around when she heard his footsteps. "Oniichan! How was your bath? Agafia-san giving you any more trouble?" Kanako petted Kuro on her shoulder. Who purred in response.
Keitaro scratched the back of his head. "Heheh. No. No. She's just fine." Keitaro stopped giggling as his attention turned to the two suited men. "Um, Kanako, who are these people?"
The two men stood up and bowed to Keitaro.
"It's nice to finally meet," the man with the oval goatee spoke. "I'm Kenichi Sakamoto. I used to work for your grandmother. And now I work with Kanako-sama."
"And I'm Ryukichi Iwai," the glasses man said. "I also used to work for you grandmother as one of her lieuten…"
Kenichi glared at Ryukichi.
"As one of her executives for a company she ran," Ryukichi corrected.
"My grandmother, ran a company," Keitaro said surprised. "I didn't know she ran a company."
Ryukichi nodded. "Yes. The West Kanto Real Estate Corporation. We own hundreds of property throughout the region."
"Your grandmother actually owned many companies. That is only one of the twenty three corporations your grandmother owned," Kenichi stated. "Well, used to own. Before her passing, she reduced her holdings ten. The companies that are still under her Trust, you might have heard a few. Bun Bun Yum Bakeries? Tokyo Shipping Company?"
Keitaro's mouth was wide open. "I, I, I didn't know that my family was so wealthy. There was nothing in her will about any of this."
"It was because your grandmother tried to shield you, your parents, and your aunt from the rich lifestyle," Kenichi said. "This was on a, separate will that she wanted kept away from family members."
"Except for me," Kanako noted.
"So that means you own it all now," Kietaro said shocked. "All the companies?"
"Yes. Kanako Urashima inherited the ten remaining companies. It was, something that pained Hina Urashima greatly." Kenichi recalled. "She wanted her family to remember that hard work leads to success. And running ten companies is no easy task. She was very reluctant to simply dump the responsibilities to any of your family members before ultimately choosing Kanako as their heir to this fortune. And from what I've seen, your family has been doing just fine on their own without any further burden. Even you, Keitaro-sama, you've done quite well for yourself."
Keitaro scratched the back of his head as a slight blush appeared. "Yeah. I guess I have." An image of Naru flashed across his mind. "Oh."
Kanako smiled. "You're worried about Narusegawa right? I have some good news. And it's why they're here by the way."
Keitaro shot his head to Kanako shocked, thinking she read his mind. "Naru! You mean, there is news?"
Kenichi grimaced. "Unfortunately, it's not news we're here for."
"We are still looking for her," Ryukichi tentatively said. "But this is why we're here. To give you a little reassurance. Even if it is just a little."
"We're here to tell you that we are doing everything we could," Kenichi said. "We're willing to spend company resources to search for her."
Keitaro's eyes widened in near jubilation. "You'll do that? Please! Please find her!" He ran up and shook Kenichi and Ryukichi's hand. "I, I don't know what to say." Keitaro's mind snapped back to reality. "Wait, is that right? I… I mean you're using company resources? Shouldn't the cops be looking for her instead? And I, I want Naru to be found safe and sound but…"
"Do not worry about that," Ryukichi said. "This is an expense we believe is worth spending on. After all, she is an Urashima correct? In the name of the Urashima Family, we vow to make sure no one in the family will ever come in harms way."
"Well, she sort of kept her family name when we married," Keitaro chuckled.
Ryukishi and Kenichi stared at him with stone face.
"Ah! But, but, thanks, I just, can't thank you enough," Keitaro quickly replied back seeing as his attempt to add a little humor seemed to have failed.
"Eh hem," A man that Keitaro did not see come in sounded. "I apologize for interrupting, but there is important business that needs to be attended to, Kanako-sama."
Keitaro looked over to the newcomer in the hallway. His eyes were obscured by the fedora he wore. His suit was similar to Kenichi and Ryukichi, except a little, flashier and baggier. But it was his smile that caught Keitaro's attention.
The sinister looking smile that brought chills to Keitaro.
"Onijima-san, you're late," Kanako answered.
"I apologize," Onijima said. "I would have gotten here sooner except, an issue has recently arisen that needs your attention." He looked up and grinned at Keitaro.
Kanako sighed. "Looks like there is no getting out of it."
"Kanako, what is this about," Keitaro said anxiously as he looked at both Onijima and Kanako.
"Just some business," Kanako said. "Taking care of ten companies isn't easy. But don't worry oniichan, it shouldn't take long." She petted Kuro, "Now Kuro, give Keitaro some company while I'm away okay?"
"Mya!" The black cat jumped off Kanako's shoulder and landed squarely on Keitaro's face.
Keitaro tripped backwards and land on the ground. "Agh!"
"Keitaro-san," Agafia said from across the hallway. She jogged towards Keitaro with her hands waving in the air. "Are you alright?"
"Right this way Kanako-sama," Onijima took off his hat and gestured Kanako through the door.
Kanako walked through the doors. As she passed through, Onijima swiveled around, and shut the doors closed.
"Grandma Hina wanted to take it down," Motoko said. "But why? I thought she was a horrible criminal?"
"A few minutes ago you all thought she was a nice woman," Tomoko commented.
"Tomoko…" Ishikawa glared.
"Sorry," Tomoko lowered his head in regret.
"Hina Urashima never liked what the organization stood for, and what it did to her family," Ishikawa started, "I'd be lying to you if I said that I knew what she was thinking when I worked with her. But it was clear she was horrified by their actions and vowed to shield her children, and her grandchildren from the organization."
"And so, she essentially took the organization underground. Officially, if you can all it that, her reasoning was to keep their activities from being exposed an the increasingly digital age," Tomoko said. "Unofficially, it was to ensure her family and the people around them wouldn't know the true nature of the organization."
"If she wanted to take it all down, why didn't she just turn everyone in," Shinobu asked.
"Because you don't take down an organization this big without it turning on you," Ishikawa said. "Besides herself, there were twenty three families once associated with the Urashima Family."
"If they knew she was trying to bring them all down at once," Haruka added, "someone would have revolted."
"By the time Hina took over the organization, her son and daughter were already born. Even discounting the tragic circumstances with her daughter, someone could have easily turned against Hina, and installed one of her children." Ishikawa closed his eyes. "If you want to move the timeline even further up, you might even add the grandchildren."
"And even in the event of completely taking the Urashima Family out of the picture," Tomoko said, "you still have twenty three families to deal with. Even if half were able to escape persecution, without the iron fist of the Urashima family to keep them in line, this could lead to turf battles throughout the Kanto region."
"Imagine the bloodshed that would create," Ishikawa said. "However, the other cold truth of the matter is, none of them would have likely faced prosecution. Besides corrupt prosecutors, judges, and even members of the police force, finding enough evidence of their activities would have been near impossible. Yes, we might have gotten a few low level thugs here and there, but nothing would ever lead to the big boys."
Tomoko took out the blue print sized paper. "Here, ummm…" He looked at the coffee table in front him. The tea pot and tray were on it.
"Oh I'm sorry," Shinobu stood up and reached down to pick up the tray.
"Oh that's okay. I can do it," Tomoko reached down and tried to pick up the tea tray.
"No no. You're the guest," Shinobu reassured as she reached for the side.
"No, it's okay, I don't mind," Tomoko said as he reached for the side.
"Tomoko," Ishikawa growled. "Give me that, sit down, and let the girl work." Ishikawa grabbed the blue print.
Tomoko reluctantly let go of the tea tray and sat down. "Sorry."
"No no, it's my fault," Shinobu said with a slight blush, "I shouldn't have left it on the table."
Ishikawa sighed. "It's okay. Just, do whatever you need to do and hurry back."
"I'll, I'll be right back," Shinobu said as she ran off to the kitchen with tray in hand.
A few moments later, she returned and sat back. "Sorry for the wait."
"It's okay. You've been more than kind miss," Ishikawa said as he rolled out the blue print paper. "What you're seeing here, is the Urashima network."
Su, Ema, Motoko, Shinobu, and Kitsune all stared at the paper in awe.
There were many boxes with names on it, with lines all heading towards the center. The center which read the UrashimaMainFamily.
As Kitsune scanned the paper, she came across some familiar names. "Bun Bun Yum? Isn't that the bakery company?"
"Yeah," Su said, "They make some really tasty cakes!"
"That's just one of the twenty three corporations set up as the 'legitimate' side of the of organization," Ishikawa said. "And it's why bringing down the organization isn't so simple."
"Yes," Tomoko said. "Drugs could be shipped into the area with Tokyo Shipping, funneled through one of the Bun Bun Yum locations, which in turn, is owned by the West Kanto Real Estate company."
"And what evidence do we have to raid the offices of any of these companies? Zero," Ishikawa added. "Tokyo Shipping company could claim they were tricked by one of their clients into shipping the drugs, Bun Bun Yum could blame the employees, and in the case that bad press might close down that Bun Bun Yum location, the West Kanto Real Estate company would come out Scott free. Even though we're certain the logistics and the handling was all done in their offices."
"Twenty three companies, twenty three family," Su said as she looked over the chart. "Odd. What about the Urashima family itself?"
Ishikawa nodded. "I see you noticed that each of the twenty three families ran a separate company. The Urashima family itself? This is where it gets complicated. Urashima provided the protection and the logistics. And in truth, the twenty three families did not fully control the companies either. Until just a few years ago, the Urashima Family, more specifically, Hina Urashima, had a controlling stake in ten of them. Significant ownership in the remaining thirteen."
"Ah," Mutsumi clapped her hand. "So it's like a mother giving its children its own farm, while the mother protected the children."
"Except the mother was the one that still owned the farms, and only allowed the kids to work and profit on them," Ishikawa said. "Still, it worked out well for the twenty three families and the Urashima. With the Urashima as the head, they shared resources and men. An attack on one, is an attack on all. You can imagine how formidable they would be in taking them on."
"Of course, that was then," Tomoko said as he brought out a transparency and covered the blue print. "This is now."
Thirteen of the lines that once connected to the Urashima family now had a X line of them. Many of the boxes with names, that ran from the thirteen companies also had X's.
Su looked over the chart, "thirteen of the families no longer worked for the Urashima?"
"Hina Urashima began sabotaging their operations," Ishikawa said, "mismanaging drug shipments, anonymous tip offs of guns sales, failure of payments to clients… needless to say those thirteen families felt it was necessarily to sever ties with the Urashima family and go at it alone."
Mutsumi looked at that chart, "Oooh. Pretty. So, she cut the links with these families?"
"But wouldn't they have figured out this was Grandma Hina doing," Su asked.
"And wouldn't this be dangerous," Motoko added. "Since these families are now independent of the Urashima, Grandma Hina would lose whatever control that she had over them."
"This is why the thirteen families that defected, not so coincidently, were also the families that Urashima Family had the least control over," Ishikawa said. "However, she still had extensive knowledge of their inner workings. And even after their defection, we were able to infiltrate their operations."
"As for the thirteen being independent risky, that's true," Tomoko conceded. "But it was also the best way to bring them all down. This, wouldn't have been possible if they had stayed within the Urashima Family umbrella."
"Better to take on a severed appendage than take on the beast as a whole," Haruka said.
"As for suspecting Hina Urashima herself," Tomoko scratched the back of his head. "That's the other side of the story."
"In order for this to work, she had to maintain complete control over her underlings," Ishikawa said as he sat back. "She had to rule with an iron fist over the ten that the Urashima still had control over. And I'm not going to pretty this up. This meant torture or murder of those that might consider questioning her authority."
"And even with the ten, she was still weakening them," Tomoko said. "An iron fist on hand, while undercutting the organization with the other. It, was to be her legacy. She'll dirty her hands so the rest of family would never know what it's like."
Kitsune shifted in her seat with each new revelation over a woman that she thought was just the original manager of the Hinata Sou. "She had all this going on, and none of us knew it."
"It sounds like she was winning," Motoko said as she reviewed the chart. "It looks like the half of the families have been taken care of."
"Umm… I just thought of something," Ema said. "Didn't you say something about corrupt cops or something?"
Ishikawa nodded. "As much as it pains me to say it, but a significant portion of the police force had been, bought off."
"However, if you remember the news a few years back about a rash of resignations due to stress," Tomoko said, "you can probably guess the real reason."
"And don't forget the resignation of the prosecutors three years ago," Ishikawa said.
"But it couldn't last could it," Su said. "Since now we're here."
"There is one thing Hina Urashima couldn't stop," Ishikawa said. "And while it may look like she was taken it down with lightning speed, in reality, it wasn't fast enough for Hina-san."
"She wasn't getting any younger," Haruka said. She took out a new cigarette as placed it on her mouth.
"But if this was a big concern, what about her world wide tour when Keitaro arrived," Kitsune said, "I mean, she doesn't have time to be screwing around right?"
"Hmph," Haruka said, "I always wondered about that."
"It… may seem silly," Ishikawa said. "But she wasn't just doing it for fun. She was seriously trying to find a way to extend her life."
"How would you know," Haruka said skeptically.
"She told me," Ishikawa squirmed in his seat as he felt Haruka's gaze. "While, I wouldn't say we're the best of friends, at least she… confided in me much of her plans. And the only thing she feared in her last days was what she will leave as an inheritance once she passed from this world. She wanted to live just a little longer in order to see the end of the organization."
Su looked up as realization hit her. "Grandma Hina wasn't able to do that. Which meant that she left behind a lot of property."
Haruka looked at the group. "If you're wondering about the will, no, there was nothing about the companies, the properties, or whatever assets related to this organization."
"But there was a lot of stuff under her name," Su said, "Shouldn't the lawyers have raised that issue?"
"Nope," Haruka replied. "Mother's lawyer mentioned nothing about these properties. However, I don't think any of our lawyers cared to look at all her assets either, since her known assets were still substantial. After all, I got one hundred million yen out of the deal."
"…one hundred million YEN?" The residents said in unison.
"How come you didn't mention that," Kitsune asked.
"If I told you earlier, you'd probably ask me to pay for everything," Haruka said. "I'm not supposed to be a bank you know."
"That's… not true," Kitsune said as she pushed her index fingers together. "By the way, the café needs some renovation. Mind if I borrow…"
"No," Haruka cut Kitsune off.
"But how much money did Keitaro's parents inherit? And Keitaro himself," Motoko asked.
"Keitaro's parents received 100 million yen as well, which they gave to charity," Haruka said. "And did you forget about the truckloads of artwork that was dumped at their bakery."
"Oh yeah," Kitsune snickered. "Their faces when they saw all those paintings and statues being unloaded on their property was priceless."
"Wait, why didn't you get some artworks Haruka," Shinobu asked.
"Who said I didn't," Haruka grinned. "I just gave it all to Keitaro's parents. They didn't need to know they also got my half. And Seta didn't need yet more distractions than he already had." Haruka's hand unconsciously made a fist.
"And what about Keitaro? Was he rolling in the dough too," Kitsune asked.
"As for Keitaro… he received nothing," Haruka said.
"NOTHING?" the residents said in unison.
"That's because he already received his inheritance," Haruka clarified.
Shinobu blinked a few times before she realized what Haruka meant. "The Hinata Sou."
"If Keitaro really wanted to, he could sell this place and live the rest of his life in retirement," Haruka said. "People would kill to own this place."
"Eep," Ema squirmed.
"Sorry," Haruka said. "Anyways, even with this recession, if Keitaro placed this on the market, even I wouldn't be able to afford it."
"Hmph," Su said as she crossed her arms. "And yet there is still the issue with her 'hidden' assets."
"Doesn't sound like they were that hidden," Haruka said, "if there is property with her name on it."
"No one was looking at least," Ishikawa conceded.
"About that," Ema swallowed as she tried to suppress the image of the dead bodies that Haruka had unintentionally reminded her. "Why would there still be property under her name in the first place since she's, gone?"
"Probably bureaucratic red tape," Haruka said. "You try getting through that stacks of paper if you discover they misspelled your name on the deed." Haruka let out a whiff of smoke. "But it should be clear what happened to her remaining assets."
"Hmph," Ishikawa said, "I somehow doubt she had wanted it to all go to her granddaughter. That just doesn't seem like her."
"Maybe she didn't," Su said frowning. "Maybe it was Kanako that did it. Or one of the remaining families that were still loyal to the Urashima that made her the head."
"And to think, just a few weeks after she passed away, all our progress came to an end," Tomoko said.
Haruka raised on eyebrow. "What do you mean?"
"Mmph," Ishikawa gritted his teeth. "Evidence collecting almost completely ended. Informants disappeared one by one. The thirteen families that broke off? We were able to take down six of them. But there has been a paradigm shift with the remaining seven. Five of their leaders had been taken out, and their territories fell into the hands of what we thought was an unknown outside party. And the ten remaining families still loyal to the Urashima Family all but vanished on our radar."
"And this didn't raise eyebrows," Haruka asked.
"Our team was in denial," Ishikawa admitted. "We just brushed it off as a bad week, and then a month, and then half a year."
"So much for our proud public safety force," Haruka said as she took in another drag.
"And now," Ishikawa said as he sighed. "What I think is going on." He took out a notebook. "We all know that Kanako Urashima is not related by blood. I'm sure the traditionalist in the organization wanted to ensure…"
Haruka began to snicker, though it started off as a coughing fit.
"You find this amusing Urashima-san," Ishikawa eyed Haruka.
"You're telling me, she kidnapped my nephew, because of blood," Urashima coughed a few times. "You really believe that? If that mattered, why didn't they just go after my brother?"
Ishikawa cleared his throat. "It's just a theory. And, your brother owns a bakery. Can't say he's prepared to run an entire organization. Not that Keitaro-san could either." He looked up at the group present. "I don't mean to offend, but Kanako probably choose Keitaro-san because he was the weakest. He's probably being prepped up as a puppet while Kanako is the true head." Ishikawa later gritted his teeth. "As for Naru, I can imagine she is her hostage in order to keep Keitaro in line."
"Yeah," Haruka said with skepticism. "You go ahead and believe that."
"Like I said, it's just a theory," Ishikawa said. "But the fact remains that this has gotten a lot more dangerous than even I had imagined."
Su gritted her teeth. "Then we must do everything we can to find her and put an end to this." Su shot up from her seat. "Then it's decided! We'll search every single property Hina Urashima owned! That will lead us to Kanako!"
"Whoa whoa whoa," Ishikawa said as he waved at Su as he tried to get her attention. "Weren't you paying attention? This isn't just a simple kidnapping case. We're talking about a criminal organization that appears to be reinforcing itself."
"Yes. This isn't child's play here," Tomoko added. "We weren't telling you this for any of you to get further involved. We were telling you this to let us handle the situation."
"Yeah, think about it. This is, dangerous," Ema said tentatively. "I mean, that house, and the, the…" Ema felt nauseous.
"I know," Su said. "But we have to try. Grandma Hina wanted us to be free from this demon. And now we should be the ones to finally end it!"
Motoko's eyes widened. With renewed resolved, she stood up besides Su. "I agree! Keitaro and Naru were innocent victims here. Grandma Hina would never have wanted this. We must rescue them and finish what Grandma Hina started!"
"Yes! I, I won't rest until senpai is safe," Shinobu said with a determined look.
"I, I don't know what we can do but," Kitsune stood up. "I'll do everything I can! Kanako is going down!"
"Ara," Mutsumi stood up. "I'll fight too! Taking on the Yakuza should be fun!"
"That's not what you…" Ishikawa face palmed.
Ema quivered before finally standing up. "I'll, I'll join too! I still need to tell senpai I passed."
Haruka entered reception area. "Hmm. Once you get them going, they won't stop."
Tomoko looked at Ishikawa in defeat.
Ishikawa sighed. "What have I done to deserve this? Okay! Okay! Well first, checking all of Hina Urashima's properties will not do any good. It's doubtful that more than handful still belong to her. And then you have at least ten known companies and their properties to investigate. And I said ten known companies. If there is one thing Hina Urashima should have realized when she went on her world wide tour, control by proxy is no substitute for direct control."
Unknown Location - Main Lobby
Kanako entered one of the half spiral staircases that led to the ground floor. "So what business do we have Onijima-san?"
"It seems my last mission had a little, complication," Onijima said, still with a vile smile. "The Tosho Family was better prepared than I imagined."
Kanako eyed Onijima. "So you failed?"
"Of course not," Onijima grinned. "I would never dishonor myself and come crawling back here in failure. No. But his body guards were much more competent that I initially realized." Onijima took out a serrated knife. "However, they were still no match for me."
"And I assume the Tosho head didn't agree to rejoin the Urashima," Kanako said.
"Of course not," Onijima said. "But even if he did, given how he was pissing in his pants, he would be a disgrace."
"I guess that means you've wiped that pathetic family out then," Kanako smiled.
"No," Onijima said. "I let his twin daughters live to join the organization."
Kanako cocked her head. "Odd. I never would have imagined you to be the merciful type?"
"Since when did I say that," Onijima said, "But they've proven themselves to be quite useful to us. After all, they turned their own father into slice meat. You should have been there as the twins gleefully turned their dear old father into chunks while pledging loyalty to the Urashima family. The cleaning crew whined about the mess they left. But now they can finally earn their pay."
Kanako giggled. "Sounds like it went well. But what's the problem?"
"Unfortunately, the Suzuki head caught wind of this," Onijima stated, "and now wants a face to face meeting with the Urashima head here." Onijima slid down the half spiral staircase banister. "They are waiting outside as we speak."
"So you're telling me they found this place," Kanako crossed her arms. "That is unacceptable."
"A pity too. And to think I thought they would be reasonable and realize the Urashima family is back," Onijima sarcastically said. As he made it to the ground level, he stood in front of Kanako. "And I mean no disrespect for your grandmother. But I am glad we now have a competent leader as head."
Kanako grinned. "What you think of my grandmother is none of my concern since I never liked her either. Just remember you're apart of the family as my oniichan."
"Of course," Onijima said, "my loyalty is with the family no matter what that old hag tried to do." He leered at Kanako as another thought came to his mind. "That reminds me, how long are you going to lie to Keitaro?"
"Lie," Kanako grinned. "What lie?"
"Telling him you're looking for his bitch," Onijima said.
"I don't know what you're talking about," Kanako feigned ignorance. "After all, I've been looking at Narusegawa every single night. Who knows? Maybe I'll even see her tonight."
Onijima's smile widened. "Oh, I'd love to be there when you do 'see' her."
Kanako grinned. "Maybe you'll be lucky one of these days." Kanako turned to her maid. "Kyoko, are tonight's preparations ready?"
"Yes mistress," the Asian maid replied.
"Good," Kanako grinned.
"And mistress," Kyoko bowed, "I have brought this for our unwanted guest." Kyoko knelt down and presented a sword to Kanako.
"Interesting," Onijima said behind her. "I thought the Urashima style was mainly hand to hand combat."
"It is," Kanako said as she took the sword in hand. "But I made my own variation on it." She looked at and stared at the door way. "Now, to deal our unwanted guest."
Kyoko took out two keys, placed them in the locks, and simultaneously turned them.
"Strange seeing the locks on the inside," Onijima commented.
"Now, now Onijima-san," Kanako said as she tied the scabbard to her shirt. "You don't need me to tell you why this door is special."
The double doors' gears and bolts cranked.
-End of Chapter 7
Another update of the year! You could say I'm on a roll… except given how update challenged how many of my fics here, I'm still way behind.
Another thing is, I try to keep any Japlish to a bare minimum. Almost to nothing. Besides obvious stuff like; 'How many people here know that ojosama means Mistress, or goshujin-sama means Master (which is also an archaic word for husband. You could probably guess why that''s no longer the term for husband)?' That's what I thought. One of my beefs in reading fanfics are people that think throwing in tons of Japanese terms makes them look cool or smart. When in fact, it just brings down the fic as the people that don't know Japanese have to find out (usually in that story's authors notes, but not always) what it means.
The only minor exception is honorifics. Only because sometimes, there isn't a really good English translation of the term. Like Senpai. That being said, I cannot say that the times I did use honorifics, I did them well. Derp derp, I used wiki! I expert now! Derp. No! I'm sure I might get a review saying I got usage wrong here and there because, again, I'm no expect.
Yes, I know Su is a little OOC. But I'm also thinking that, given this is a few years after the end of the manga, she also matured at that time. As for Mutsumi, I'm going to be honest, I had trouble writing her. Do I make her an airhead? Do I give her pearls of wisdom? Hopefully I'll figure it before the end of the story.
Second, more minor, but I might get people bitching about it. Whether to use family, organization, or clan. Honestly? Didn't know what term to use, so I use organization a lot. Second, and probably more significant to purist, it being Yakuza, and might be breaking some Yakuza convention, it's another case where I wasn't looking for complete accuracy here. I know I know, if you're going to do something, do it right. Well, yeah. I at least wanted to maintain aspects like honor and respect. Just that, unless it's something egregious to the point where it brings down the believability of the story, I'm willing to let some things pass.
Next chapter, the Hinata Sou investigation continues. And Kanako deals with the unwanted guest. As Naru awaits her fate. Until then, later!